When is Noise Not Noise - A Microstructure Estimate of Realized Volatility

50 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2008

See all articles by Zheng Sun

Zheng Sun

University of California, Irvine - Paul Merage School of Business

Robert F. Engle

New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business - Department of Economics; New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

This paper studies the joint distribution of tick by tick returns and durations between trades. Returns are decomposed into changes in full information prices and microstructure noise, but the noise is modeled in accordance with various models of market microstructure allowing rich correlation structures both with the efficient price and over time. The full information price has time varying volatility which depends upon the arrival time of trades. The paper aims at three contributions: First, the noise is modeled to allow asymmetric information, inventory and order processing costs, and delayed quote setting. Second, the response to the trade arrival times allows trade durations to be informative on future volatility. Third, the estimated state space models can act as a laboratory to examine various non-parametric approaches to realized volatility estimation. Both simulated and actual data can be compared across methods and the accuracy and efficiency assessed as long as the parameteric model is viewed as a sufficiently accurate representation. We apply the above model to 10 NYSE stock transactions data series with varying transaction rates. It appears that contemporaneous duration has little effect on the volatility per trade after conditioning on the past, which means average per second volatility is inversely related to the duration between trades. Microstructure noise is found to be informative about the unobserved efficient price, and the informational component explains 45% of the total variation of the microstructure noise.

Suggested Citation

Sun, Zheng and Engle, Robert F., When is Noise Not Noise - A Microstructure Estimate of Realized Volatility (2007). NYU Working Paper No. FIN-07-047. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1293630

Zheng Sun (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine - Paul Merage School of Business ( email )

Paul Merage School of Business
Irvine, CA California 92697-3125
United States

Robert F. Engle

New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business - Department of Economics ( email )

269 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10003
United States

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance

Stern School of Business
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012-1126
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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